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Download e-book for kindle: Alfred Valdmanis and the Politics of Survival by Gerhard P. Bassler

By Gerhard P. Bassler

ISBN-10: 0802044131

ISBN-13: 9780802044136

Alfred Valdmanis is better identified in Canada for his notorious position in finest Joey Smallwood's scheme to industrialize Newfoundland. A Latvian immigrant, he was once appointed Director basic of financial improvement in 1950 with the knowledge that via his connections to Europe he might attract German and Baltic industrialists to the remoted, rural island. His impression used to be dropped at an abrupt finish whilst, in 1954, he used to be charged with defrauding the govt. The media, latching directly to his murky earlier and his attainable association with conflict criminals, made him the scapegoat of Newfoundland's difficulties, portray him as half comic, half sinister villain.

This used to be no longer the 1st time his identify used to be hooked up with arguable concerns. Valdmanis's wily political manoeuvring is extra the stuff of fiction than historical past. among 1938, at age 29, and his ironic downfall within the refuge of Canada, he was once a finance minister of pre-war Latvia, a central authority respectable in the course of the Soviet invasion, a wise collaborator less than the Nazi profession, then, a chum to the Allies, a spokesman for Latvian POW and displaced individuals, and an adviser to the govt. of Canada. during this first critical biography of Alfred Valdamis historian Gerhard Bassler casts the tale of this political manipulator and chameleon in new phrases: the customarily tragic outcomes of the desire to survive.

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Extra resources for Alfred Valdmanis and the Politics of Survival

Example text

There can be little doubt that the age disparity coupled with professional envy and bitterness of colleagues limited his social contacts and reinforced certain of his personality traits. Not participating in the social life of the city or in party politics, Valdmanis preferred to immerse himself in work and study. 78 According to the character portrait drawn by Zemgals (that is, probably Valdmanis himself), Valdmanis exhibited from early on the combined traits of a loner, a climber, and a workaholic.

49 Following the agenda Mikelis Valters had publicized in 1933/'° the regime kept up pressure to expropriate and latvianize businesses by resorting to a variety of orders, decrees, and administrative measures. The minister of finance was given special powers to investigate private companies and order their liquidation if he deemed such to be in the national interest. The main instrument designed to accomplish this was the Credit Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Kreditbanka), founded in 1935 with the Ministry of Finance as its largest shareholder.

The main instrument designed to accomplish this was the Credit Bank of Latvia (Latvijas Kreditbanka), founded in 1935 with the Ministry of Finance as its largest shareholder. One of its official functions was to liquidate banks and businesses having financial difficulties, especially if their shares were controlled by foreigners and members of national minorities. The influence of the Credit Bank was felt in every industrial, commercial, and agricultural activity of the country. ' The elimination of 'foreign' economic influences was only one aspect of a deliberate drive to industrialize Latvia.

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Alfred Valdmanis and the Politics of Survival by Gerhard P. Bassler


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